There are few foods more comforting than a steaming, thick and creamy, chock full of nature’s bounty, pastry-topped chicken pot pie, but this cold-weather crowd pleaser has a rather sordid past.
Although its origins lie in ancient Greece, Roman Empire chefs were notorious for whipping up pot pies containing live birds (yup, live birds) that would burst through the crust to raucous cheers and probably a few terrified screams. This lively dish was still en vogue in 16th-century England, and Americans in the 1800s thumped the table for pot pies stuffed with robins.
Thankfully, some trends eventually go the way of the Dodo bird, but what remains is a wholesome, comfort classic upon which most everyone can agree. Here are five of our favorite chicken pot pies in Westchester. All fully cooked, we assure you.
210 E Hartsdale Ave, Hartsdale; 914.723.1065
Served in a quaint cast-iron crock and topped with a delicate square of puff pastry, the pot pie at this farm-to-table comfort café brims with roasted chicken and individually roasted veggies that change with the weather. Parsnips, butternut squash, and Brussels sprouts are tucked beneath the crust now — each sprinkled with a different herb, including sage, rosemary, and/or thyme — but, come summer, in-season corn, mushrooms, and peas will be equally as soul soothing.
652 Old Post Rd, Bedford; 914.234.3185
At this northerly upmarket mainstay, the pot pie is ready to take home in a disposable tray, but can also be done BYOD: Bring Your Own (Baking) Dish. Either way, it’s topped with a mountain of homemade puff pastry and contains brined, then roasted, chicken in a rich gravy of stock, cream, and roux.
Butternut squash and kale with sage are front and center right now, but asparagus, fava beans, wild mushrooms, and ramps will be just as tempting when temps start to thaw.
57 Main St, Irvington; 914.591.6911
Offering Hudson Valley-sourced, grass-fed meats; organic produce; specialty food items; and greeting cards from neighborhood artists, this bustling Rivertown market makes pot pies on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons — and they go like hotcakes.
Tucked gently into a savory pie crust, each is comprised of roasted Bell & Evans white-meat chicken (sometimes turkey), surrounded by organic peas, carrots, and onions.
960 McLean Ave, Yonkers; 914.776.7532
Hearty and luscious, the pot pie at this always warm and welcoming Irish sports bar and family-friendly restaurant is homemade from start to finish.
The chicken is roasted, then smothered in a smooth, creamy gravy, containing a hint of white wine and enough peas, sweet corn, carrots, and potatoes to satisfy all of Ireland. A hefty hunk of fluffy, buttery puff pastry rests on top, begging to be considered a meal on its own.
26 N Greeley Ave, Chappaqua; 914.238.8833
With its buttery flaky crust, embedded with leaves of whole, fresh garden sage, this offering is eight inches in diameter and “looks quite like a proper pie,” notes owner and Executive Chef/Creative Director Mark Kamer. Inside are tender pieces of rotisserie chicken, fontina cheese, and winter vegetables. Available every Wednesday; orders can be places via the website or right at the counter in downtown Chappaqua.